What to Expect from Bunion Surgery

Bunion SurgeryBunions affect many people and are a source of pain from prolonged standing or walking. Having a bunion can limit your physical activity and can get worse over time. If you have a bunion, speak to a podiatrist or surgeon about the procedures available to help you.

Bunions are characterized by an enlarged joint below the big toe and a misaligned metatarsal in the foot. The surgery involved to correct this condition is common, but there are factors to consider. The procedure is invasive and takes a fair amount of recovery time. Generally you will need to set aside eight weeks for full recovery as the incisions and bone heals. You will be spending the first few weeks staying off of your foot and walking with the assistance of crutches, a walker or even a knee scooter. Your foot will be put in a walking shoe or boot that will help protect your foot while it heals. While the incisions are healing you will be required to use bandages and wraps to keep the wound clean and protected. You will have sutures that will need to be removed during your regular post-op checkups. You will also be required to protect your foot from water while you are wearing bandages, so have some plastic bags available to wrap around your foot while showering.

As the weeks progress you will be given more freedom of movement. Your surgeon will let you know what level of activity you should be at, so follow any instructions given to ensure a speedy recovery. If you are unsure about what you should be doing, ask your surgeon. Being at the right level of activity will protect you from injury that could prolong your healing process. Have diversions ready if you find yourself becoming restless.

You will be prescribed pain medication for your recovery. It is important to follow your doctor’s instructions on taking these drugs as there are side effects, including addiction. This is a very serious consideration since you will be taking these medications for a prolonged period. Try to limit your use if you can and stop taking them as soon as possible. If your pain does not improve over time, consult with your doctor right away as it might be a sign of complications. Be sure to attend every scheduled appointment so your doctor can recognize issues as soon as possible.

After the recovery period, your surgeon will likely refer you to a physical therapist. Even if you feel well, make sure you go to physical therapy as directed. Your physical therapist will help you fully recover and can also help identify potentially unseen difficulties. This therapy will also help you recover from lingering pain and stiffness.